Here’s a topic for my girlfriends out there.
Maybe this doesn’t apply to you, maybe it does.
Just a hint – its about guys and waiting for “the right one”.
Now I’m twenty-five years old and the only date (besides high school formal) I’ve ever been on was with one of my best friends as a kid to watch Mulan in the cinema and eat a burger at McDonalds afterwards. His mom took us =)
It was fun and I sure liked him a lot – though I had already decided not to marry him. He was planning on becoming an attorney and I found that rather dull. Don’t ask me why. The firm opinion of an eight-year old. If I had known that women tend to make lists to summarize the vital qualities any possible future-husband must possess, I guess “no attorney” would have been on mine. Along with “must like animals” and “better know how to climb trees”.
What about now? Growing up with strong Christian values and having long embraced those values and the Christian faith as my own, I find myself living in stark contrast to the values and practices of the society I live in. It seems to me that when it comes to relationships, the top two priorities in society are “open, fun, flirtatious”, and “ready for fun here and now with no thoughts about tomorrow”. Marriage? Maybe after we’ve lived together for like…three years. Or better seven. Just so we can find out if we’re really compatible.
With the education system in various German states contemplating a serious change to puberty education – or whatever you want to call it – I wonder how much that will affect society even further and force kids to skip the even now hardly innocent childhood and be confronted with questions concerning the opposite gender (can I even say that?) at an ever earlier age. I am sad because the kids don’t even have a choice. Knowledge is hard to undo. Will handing out contraceptives and encouraging them to act on their emotions and impulses really teach them to be responsible adults that can build strong, healthy relationships? Will introducing them to the variety of lifestyles that exist among adults in the 21st century really help them find their place and not unnecessarily confuse them and make them insecure with a lack of guidance and role models? Will it really just encourage tolerance and broaden their world view without adding to the issues of identity and self-perception they already struggle with during their teenage years?
Now what do these questions have to do with us girls and relationships?
Well, sometimes I’ve talked to other single girls or young women and I’ve felt that, especially in Christian circles, there can be a lot of frustration at times with single life and the seeming scarcity of eligible men. Sometimes it can be rather tempting to just go for the option society offers us – instead of waiting for a man who loves God and reflects Jesus in his character, life and goals. A man who will love us like Jesus loved the church. Whoa – high standard there! Will he ever come? Considering only one’s own life it can sometimes seem so insignificant a compromise – so what if I go out with some random guy just for fun. Everyone does it. Big deal. I would still go to church. I don’t think he’d mind. And maybe he would even come with me!
But its not so much just about whether or not you go to church – its about your heart.
Who does it belong to? Jesus – or that guy?
And then if you look at the big picture – of what kids growing up these days learn as “the norm”, your example of going against the current is actually not so insignificant. It can serve as a real encouragement and challenge to other people, especially kids looking for an alternative to the crazy instant gratification quick fix culture of our time. The best things in life are worth fighting for. Worth going through tough times for. Worth not giving up for. And I would say that an awesome marriage is a pretty good thing. Let’s not kid ourselves, we all make mistakes. And in the end – even if we do marry that man of integrity that loves and serves God with his whole heart – he is still a sinner in need of God’s grace. Just like us. But if we recognize that and deliberately strive for a relationship that is full of grace, humility, forgiveness and selfless, sacrificial love, with God’s help we will have an amazing marriage that shapes us and changes us for the better as we grow in love and trust. And along with us, it can shape people around us. Can show friends or neighbours that healthy families do still exist and are worth fighting for.
Ok, so you’re single and there’s no eligible man in sight?
Relax. Try widening your social circle a little, but don’t get fanatic. Be open to getting to know guys and don’t forget they’re all human, not superhero-knights-in-shining-armour-ever-ready-to-sweep-you-off-your-feet. And a random “hi how are you” or a cup of coffee does not mean he’s gonna propose next week so again, relax a bit. Take off the pressure.
Just keep being faithful in whatever you’re doing and start praying for that husband of yours, that God would prepare you both for each other and allow you to meet.
What are your thoughts and ideas on this topic?
Feel free to comment.